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Parents, teachers push for new Pa. schools funding formula

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

by Holly Otterbein for NewsWorks

Mark Gleason, executive director of the Philadelphia School Partnership (Courtesy of Philadelphia School Partnership) Pennsylvania lawmakers met Tuesday in Philadelphia to talk about education funding, just a day after the city’s schools opened amid major cutbacks.

Charter school champions, parent activists, a public school student, a teacher, and other residents who testified before the House Democratic policy committee all agreed on at least one point: They want the state to come up with a more equitable way of allocating money to schools.

"We’re one of three states that don’t truly have a funding formula of some kind that channels money according to the students’ needs and where the students are going to school," said Mark Gleason, executive director of the Philadelphia School Partnership, which contributes money to high-performing schools, including charters.

Kathleen Melville, a teacher at Constitution High School, may not agree with Gleason on issues like seniority. But she concurs that the state needs a new formula to drive education spending.

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